Wear sunscreen

Sunday, May 27th, 2007 | All Things, Friends

I met the Reuters boys in LIC early this afternoon, for the Memorial Day kickoff weekend of the Water Taxi Beach.

After a couple of coffees at Cafe Henri, we wound our way west past quiet warehouses and construction sites, during which B and I did our best to explain the concept of the “beach” retreat to our British friend: tons of trucked-in sand dumped onto a lot overlooking Midtown Manhattan, set up with picnic tables, bar and grill stand, and DJ booth. Is there any finer fake beach in the world?

Water Taxi Beach

Despite what appeared to have been a few cosmetic improvements outside the gates, the stock management was as spotty as last year. At half past noon, i.e., 30 minutes after the bar could legally begin serving alcohol, there was still just a scant handful of people scattered on the hot sand, and no food or beverage service available. We staked out our spots at a wooden picnic table by the chain link fence, and drank in the sun and views as the staff gradually trickled in to begin their leisurely business of setting up for the day.

Eventually, the bar opened, and was promptly swarmed. We enjoyed a few rounds of frozen margaritas, but sadly, none of Harry’s famed burgers – “maybe later,” we were informed vaguely – so we had to be satisfied with the black Angus beef dog and fries. (We were.)

Water Taxi Beach bar

Water Taxi Beach tables

Eventually, the late risers began strolling in as well, as did a ferry full of visitors from the adjacent water taxi stop. The hoses were turned on, spraying their cooling mist from the white PVC piping lining the fence.

Water Taxi passengers

Water Taxi Beach view

Water Taxi Beach view

In June 1997, the Chicago Tribune published an essay by Mary Schmich, in which she put forth a “Guide to Life for Graduates.” The entire essay was set to music and released two years later as the successful single, “Baz Luhrman Presents: Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen): The Sunscreen Song (Class of ’99).”

Most of Schmich’s advice is of the usual graduation speech variety: “Do one thing every day that scares you… Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.”

But it begins:

Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

Ah, so true. As I was reminded later that night, even a fake beach can give you a very real sunburn.

There's 1 comment so far ... Wear sunscreen

June 13, 2007

I always thought the song name was SunScream.

Go for it ...